Wednesday, July 29, 2009


Larry, I own a small business and I'm confused about labor laws when it comes to hiring minors. Could you tell me what I qualify for, and what I can and can't do?


Les, we are not labor attorneys so the first thing I would recommend is that you talk with your attorney. I can however, give you the basic rules.

The U.S. Department of Labor says that a child's most important job is to get an education. Therefore, there are limits on the hours and times during the day that a minor can work. Here are some of the basics:
  • Adolescents aged 14 & 15 can only work up to three hours on school days and eight hours a day on holidays and weekends.
  • They cannot work more than 18 hours per week while school is in session.
  • They cannot start work before 7am, or work past 7pm.
  • During the summer, they can work until 9pm.
  • There are no hour restrictions on 16 & 17 year olds because most state laws only require school attendance through the age of 16.

This is just the tip of the ice burg. There is certain equipment that children are not allowed to handle. State law may also be more rigorous than Federal law in certain areas. This is why it is important to talk with your attorney.

I hope this information is helpful.

Larry Kopsa CPA